Dita Parker

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sentimental journey

Sorry, I'm not in. I'm island hopping, mango chopping, moqueqa popping, flip-flopping, shoe shopping, gostoso spotting and all around daily grind dropping in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.

I'll have cried like a baby as we landed and I'll cry like an even bigger baby when it's time to leave, I'm sure. If they do manage to get me back on that plane, I'll be back in February. See you then, dearest, dearest, denizens!

No, that's not a picture of me. That baby turtle was born in Porto de Galinhas, Pernambuco, in January 2008. The tiny hatchlings made their way into the Atlantic with a gathering of uncharacteristically quiet homines sapientes looking on. Only one in a thousand make it back to the beach of their birth, but those that do, land in that very same sand. So maybe it is a pic of yours truly madly deeply. I may not have been born in Brazil, but right now, I'm feeling like one happy turtle, back where my life began. Ü

Sob o sol da liberdade
Liberdade em que se dança
Sob o sol da liberdade
Ainda sou criança...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Shut up and write

...three days to Bra-zi-hil, three days to Bra-zi-hil, three days to Bra-zi-hil...

Yes, the glamorous life of a writer, one holiday after another. Except erasing every lingering trace of the sugar drunken debris left behind by Christmastime and New Year's et al., to say nothing of getting the house in the condition it would later be found in in the first place, was damn hard work. And my father turns 60 next week, that's why I'm taking off, and I really really really need this trip, so take it up with him, okay? Or rather with his parents for having a January baby. Bring an Ouija board.

I had hoped to resubmit the story I've been revising before leaving. How unrealistic was that? It's not as if I haven't made steady progress but if I thought sending out that submission that I had done a good job, imagine how I feel now that the ms boomeranged right back to me. Not so easy sending it out this time. If I was so sure then, how can I possibly know this round around it's done, that it's the best I can do?

The F word starts flashing in the back of one's mind. Fear. What if it isn't done but you can't see it? When it is, will you see it? You got a second chance, it's also your last. What if it's a no-go? What then? What if the sporadic sprints show? What if you can't pull it together? What if the problems aren't solved satisfactorily? What the hell do you know about anything anyway?

I believe the F word is The Great Debilitator...Debilitant? a god-awful hindrance in writing and life. I know it's a natural reaction, an in-built protector, evolutionary security software. But it takes a great deal of self-deception to be able to say you did something to protect yourself/another when you know you did it, or didn't do something, out of fear. I promise you, the things you leave undone and unsaid will haunt you worse than anything you ever do actually do or say. Only masters of self-deception make it through bypass surgery on the conscience without complications. The rest... The rest die of regret and that is just a pitiful way to go.

What if I just gave up? What if I started believing I can't do this? What if all the time not only I've already spent on but my editor has invested in the damn story as well went to waste? It would if I froze now. I shudder at the thought. I may not know much but I do know this: I want to see that story from What if to The End no matter the outcome.

So I'll keep chugging forward, one day and scene and problem at a time. F the F word; that's how I'll pry that story out of my own hands eventually. If I've come this far with everything I do know, just think how frickin' fabulous I'll be if I ever do get to write full-time. *throws head back and laughs* Mwahahahaaaa!!!

But seriously, wherever you are in your writing, I know how and what you feel. (Okay, if you're a published-many-times-over-in-all-languages-known-to-man-including-Klingon author, I have no idea how you feel. Do tell.) My sympathies, my foot-in-the-ass therapy, my two cents.

And more to come after I get back. I haven't received confirmation yet that everything went through OK, but I'm scheduled to guest blog at Whipped Cream on February 2. If something of force majeure proportions happens on the way home and I'm late for the party, talk me up, will ya? Thanks.

Smooches, sweetie darlings, or, beijos e abraços. Behave.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Twelfth night

Hear that? Music to my ears, sweetie darlings, the sound of silence. That's the sound of a house and hostess all partied out. It was fun, it really was, but like all good things, it had to come to an end, and between you and me, or me, myself and I, not a day too soon. Don't get me wrong. The only reason for my radio silence was I've been practicing what I preached before the holidays. I've been one serious mom, wife, sister, daughter, daughter-in-law, aunt... 

I know too much of a good thing is supposed to be wonderful, but I find it kind of exhausting, too. It's a fine line, sometimes a very short and what-no-really-only-half-a-day-gone-by-I-thought-they'd-be-heading-out-right-about-now line, between "How sweet to see you all again" and "No, you can't pee on the palm tree even if you really really have to go," you know.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to bed. If you need something, you can get it yourself.